Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Half a World Away Review

Half a World Away

Book talk: Jaden's parents wanted a baby, but by the time they brought him home he was already a toddler. The orphanage he was in often didn't give him enough food to eat let alone care and attention. Now he's eleven, but he can't stop hoarding food or lighting fires. He know's he's not what his parents wanted, which is why they're going to Kazakhstan to finally adopt a baby. When they get there though, the baby they'd thought they were adopting is already gone. They have to stay there and choose a new one. Meanwhile Jaden gets to know some of the toddlers there and forms a special bond with one.

Rave: This book breaks your heart then stitches it back together again. It is such a honest portrayal of the lingering effects of trauma and some of the possible complications of international adoption. I loved reading about all this from Jaden's perspective, and watching as he formed a bond with a toddler at the orphanage. There's a lot of harsh truths, but through it all there's good people who may make mistakes but are nevertheless trying hard to do the right thing. It's a quiet but important novel.

Every book its reader: I'd give this to kids looking for a tear-jerker 4th grade and up.

Topics and Trends: international adoption, mental health, pyromania, orphanages,


I made this image from one of my favorite quotes from the novel and a cool model of a heart I saw in a museum.

Source: public library

Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata

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